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Nsikan Akpan
almost 2 years Story
I Didn't Vote

Shoot me. Bite me. The choice is yours.

I did not vote in the past presidential election. And while it is almost a year ago that I took the bus to my neighborhood elementary school to stand in line and "make a difference," I am just now becoming okay with my decision to stay on that bus and enjoy the ride.

I can hear it now:

"Voting is a right that your ancestors fought and died for!"

Yes, voting is a right, but it is also a choice. My ancestors fought and died for my choice to one day be able to have a say if I wanted to. A vote is a voice, but I only speak when I know I am going to be heard. Bernie Sanders was my guy, and no one heard me--and millions of other sane Americans--when I voted for him. Plus, I doubt my ancestors were aware that their descendants would be dealing with the same fuckery as they did.

"But what about Hilary?"

What about that her? I recall Oprah saying that we "don't have to like her," indicating that people should still vote for Clinton. Well, Ms. Winfrey, I do have to like her. Of course, not liking someone is not enough to keep from voting for them, that is, if you're a person who bases likes and dislikes on petty characteristics. However, for someone like me who uses her "likes" and "dislikes" buttons sparingly, Hilary Clinton was in my dislike pile because she is evil in my eyes. I do not trust her. And white people, in general, just don't have a great track record with me or our system. I'm not the only one who thinks this. Many people in the black community said they were voting for Clinton because she was "the lesser of two evils," which I find lunatic because it is not our (African) way to negotiate with evil, period. When something is evil we cast it out. Certainly, Trump is evil, too. So all-in-all, this whole voting thing was completely out of our black hands to begin with. Plus, Hilary would have just been the crutch that Obama was, having us believe that everything is okay.

Nothing is okay.

"So you just don't care about what happens to America?"

The things that are happening to America, this divide and unrest, is not new to me as a Black Woman. And while I wouldn't wish the black experience on anybody, I am hopeful that the non-Black citizens of this country will open there eyes to what's been going on all along. I don't know about you, reader, but the black people that are completely surprised by what is happening are few and far between--and most likely grew up in the suburbs.

I never felt like America was mine, not because I come from immigrant parents, but because I witness the malice towards my brothers and sisters (that is, the African-Americans) who built this country. If my people who were here before America became America are still not treated as Americans, it's hard to believe that anything will change regardless of the party that holds the office. The good Lorde said, "White people are responsible for the thrive and fall of this system." While it is unsafe to leave anything completely in the hands of white people, as a black voter, I wouldn't know how to clean up a mess I didn't make, especially considering one thing falls and breaks right after another.

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